I have recently learned about degenerative-myelopathy and it is not a nice disease. Canine degenerative myelopthy, also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopthy, is an incurable, progressive disease of the canine spinal cord that is similar in many ways to amyotropic lateral sclerosis. Onset is typically after the age of 7 years and it is seen most frequently in the GSD, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and boxer dog, though the disorder is strongly associated with a gene mutation in SOD1 that has been found in 43 breeds as of 2008. Progressive weakness and incordination of the rear limbs are often the first signs seen in affected dogs, with progresson over time to complete paralysis. Myelin is an insulating sheath around neurons in the spinal cord. One propsed cause of degenerative myelopathy is that the immune system attacks the sheath, breaking it down. This results in a loss of communication between nerves in lower body of the animal and the brain.
I want my followers to know that I will be testing my dogs for DM. This is just another way to help preserve the long coat breed.